Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.

Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon race recap: part two


There was something so cool about being on a bus full of runners and listening to them all talk about running the race in prior years, their training adventures, what other races they are currently training for, etc. I chatted briefly with the guy sitting next to me, but mostly just listened to the conversations around me.

After what seemed like forever, we pulled into a long line of buses and waited for our turn to unload. What awaited us was pure chaos. The starting line corral area is really only the width of a street, so all of the half marathoners were crammed in like sardines. I took off my long sleeve shirt I was wearing, stuffed it into my sweat bag and threw it into the truck. Then, I crossed my fingers that the bag (which also contained a pair of sandals and a clean, dry T-shirt) would make it to the finish line.

As I pushed my way through the crowd, I was keeping an eye out for the Clif Bar Pace Groups so I could at least line up by where I wanted to be.

(check out the cute little package I got in the mail from Clif!)

I knew there was a 2:00 and a 2:15 pace group but I still hadn’t decided which one I wanted to run with. Only because I was tired of shoving my way through the crowd, I decided to stop and line up near the 2:15 group. It was about 6:30 and the race started at 6:45. The national anthem was sung to kick off the Half Marathon Championship race and I tried to forget about the fact that I kind of had to pee (there was no way I was going to make it through the long line for the porta potties) and I decided that if needed, I’d duck into the woods after I got going.

I never heard them announce that the race was starting, but the huge crowd eventually began to lurch forward — and we were off! The first mile or so of the race was crowded — dodging runners left and right. But it really didn’t take long for me to settle in. The last few long runs I had done leading up to the race, it could be mile 3 even before I’d feel good and warmed up, but I really did feel great right from the beginning.

I didn’t pay too much attention to my split times throughout the race — mainly just kept an eye on my pace. I pretty much kept it under 10 min/mi the entire time. The sun was fully out for most of the race, but there was also a nice breeze that you could feel every so often. I took my first water at mile 3 and then sipped a bit of water every two miles after that. I also took half of my GU at mile 6 (I also saw my husband at mile 6!!) and then the rest at mile 10. Around mile 8, my feet started to bother me a little, but nothing too serious.

The last bit of the race is a total blur to me. The crowds thickened and I finally looked at my overall time and realized that I was definitely going to beat my PR and that while I wouldn’t do a sub-2:00 (which I never had planned to do) I’d possibly break 2:05!

(while not flattering, I look happy here!)

(along Superior street — only a little over a mile to go. The energy was awesome during this stretch!)

(rounding one of the final bends! I can almost see the finish line!)

I crossed the finish line feeling pretty strong!! But as soon as I started walking, a wave of nausea came over me and I could feel two blisters. While it would have been fun to stick around for the post-race festivities, all I wanted was some ice and a shower. and a nap.

(See my finish line video here — the side angle is easier to see me — I’m too short to be seen in the front angle 🙂 )

(Overall results)

(I love the green finisher shirts!)

The rest of the day I iced and napped and ate (once I stopped feeling nauseous).

(I improvised)

We spent a lot of the day in the car driving home yesterday but I took today off of work to recover and to go get a post-race massage. I can hardly wait!


5 thoughts on “Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon race recap: part two

  1. GREAT JOB! I really like that picture of you running. Your calf look super strong. And I’m hoping you never actually had to duck into the woods!

    I think I heard that Kara Goucher did this race too, so you were in good company!

    • No, no ducking — thank goodness. I’m not that hardcore 🙂

      Yes! Actually Kara WON the women’s half championship. I think she might have lived in Duluth for some of her childhood too, which is kind of cool!!

  2. Awesome job, Hyedi! Congrats on the PR! And, you look fantastic in the pics! Like Amy said… super strong 🙂

  3. Pingback: 2012 Racing Recap « Finding a Balance

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